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Monday, November 12, 2012

Special Festive Feature: Diwali with Harmini

By Harmini (Guest Blogger)

For Hindus, the most important religious event of the year is Diwali "The festival of lights". Known as Deepavali in Malaysia, the festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, and light over darkness. 

And since I'll be celebrating this year, when Your Shopping Kaki asked me if I'd be interested in doing a little tutorial and review for Diwali, I was beyond thrilled! Let me start off with a little introduction of myself, I'm Harmini from Deeper Than Fashion and I'll be your guide today for all my favourite Indian things (fashion and art related) online! 

A picture of Harmini: the face behind Deeper Than Fashion, 
one of YSK's favorite DIY icons in the local online shopping scene!

Personally when I get dressed in traditional costumes, from time to time I like spicing it up with a little edgy modern feel to it (as shown in the picture above, excuse the duckface, this was the only picture I had) with feather earrings from my own online store, Deeper Than Fashion. 

But when it comes to authentic, traditional Indian accessories online, I always love this treasure chest of exclusive accessories from Varnam Gallery. She stocks some really unique accessories that I'm yet to see anywhere else and who doesn't love exclusive accessories right? :) From simple colourful Jhumkas with dangling pearl beads...

To more intricate traditional detailed sets with Kundan Stones and Polki design designer piece... 

To oxidized silver finish necklace, detailed patterns engraved to give it a ethic and tribal look.

I have bought quite a number of pieces from her and quite honestly, I get tons of compliments wearing them because they really do stand out :)

From accessories, I'm moving on to my favourite 'art' find online. This incredibly talented illustrator of TRIXINC who's specialty is Indian inspired art work of gods, goddesses, dancers and such. She also does prints, so you can have her gorgeous pieces of art in your house!

Another form of art I have always loved is mehndi. Mehndi is the application of henna as a temporary form of skin decoration in India. Henna is typically applied during special occasions and festivals. These days, they have ready made henna cones, which are ready and easy to use. Most of these have some form of chemicals mixed and may not have the best result. However my next favourite find, Nakreze Mehndi grinds fresh henna leaves with added natural oils, brings much darker colors and lasts longer. Not only does she do henna art (which is not as easy as it looks by the way, you will need proper control and technique to perfect it.). When a professional does it, it looks like this:

She also sells fresh cones so you can attempt to do it yourself! I bought myself a kit to try it out and it comes it proper instructions and a manual on how to make the colour last longer.

My attempt to doing henna design 4 days back, and the colour is now a dark brown orange that looks amazing.

And my last favourite unique Indian find, is fashion designer Herane Zera. He does some amazing work using the traditional saree material and silhouette to create a modern twist. Classy, simple and sexy!

He also takes custom orders. Look at the magic he created on a plain jippa with his beading skills!

I hope you guys enjoyed all my favourite online Indian finds :) Do check out these pages as I doubt my description did them enough justice of the amazing things they have and the amazing work they do! 

Before I end this post, here's a little nail art tutorial to add a little colour, sparkle and bling on your nails this Diwali!

Step 1: Paint your nails in whatever colour you desire. I did each nail in a different colour.

Step 2: Use bindhis/pottus (you can get these at any Indian shop selling clothes and accessories!) to stick on your dried nails. Make sure you stick them on properly before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Paint a layer of see-through gloss nail polish & wait for it to dry, then do another layer just to make it extra secure.

And you are done! Super cute Indian nails! Easy and definitely a conversation starter :) Have a wonderful Diwali!

Happy Deepavali!!
Harmini A (Guest Blogger for YSK)
Edited by YourShoppingKaki :)

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